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12-28-2014, 12:29 AM   #1
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autofocus on K-5

Is anybody else frustrated with the autofocus on the K-5 or is it just me Over half my photos are blurry, and I lose some really great shots! Often I can't tell they are blurry from my viewfinder, it's when i upload them. I have better results using manual focus, but am trying to capture busy toddlers a lot of the time. Maybe it's just me and it will get better with experience, or perhaps it's just the nature of photography? Maybe I just need glasses. For now though it's bumming me out.

12-28-2014, 12:40 AM   #2
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You'll have to provide specifics regarding your method, e.g., exposure mode, AF mode, ISO, for starters!

With more specific info, you'll find there are many experienced persons here able to give you helpful advice!
12-28-2014, 12:41 AM   #3
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Are you able to show us an example, Bleuwater?
12-28-2014, 12:42 AM   #4
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Sounds like you need to run some tests for front or back focus. Hopefully all lenses can do better with a single adjustment. Good luck tracking it down!

Have you tried live view AF and does that give better results? That's a good Step One to try.

12-28-2014, 01:40 AM   #5
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You need a fast shutter speed and wider aperture for catching fast moving kids and pets. That means a fast lens, generally a prime F1.4
If you must have a zoom, get a a constant F2.8
Also, setting the mode dial to TAv is a great help.
12-28-2014, 03:01 AM   #6
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Yes, we need more details. The K-5 II and IIs do better with AF, and the K-3 does better than them. But that's irrelevant until you're first using the right lenses and techniques.
12-28-2014, 03:13 AM   #7
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To answer your question: there have been many reports in these forums (and elsewhere) of K-5 AF issues. You can use search and read. I do not think there is general agreement if it's user error or real issues of K-5. Personally I am convinced that although quite often the problems can be attributed to user error, there are real issues with K-5 AF.

Possible solutions: use AF fine-tuning (available in K-5 menu), send your lens/camera for adjustment, use manual focusing, use Live view mode, be extra careful in tough lighting conditions and when focusing on small objects. All of this helps but may not be enough to eliminate misfocusing 100%.

Issues that have been reported:
- software bug when AF fine adjustment is not active even though it is set in the menu https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/115-pentax-k-5/230976-af-fine-adjustment-...ml#post2445845
- front-focusing in low tungsten light when focusing on slightly reddish subjects (like skin) - see analysis by Falk Lumo.
- inconsistent behaviour with some lenses (front or back- focusing or even both at different focal lengths)
- it has been speculated that the central focusing area is too big on K-5 which makes it hrs to focus on small objects (like eyes) surrounded by other objects

Once in a while I grow really frustrated with K-5 mis-focusing. All the workarounds and adjustments do help, but it is quite annoying the amount of effort you have to put into it. I have found that when I am shooting regularly and a lot, focusing improves because you get used to being careful and knowing limitations and workarounds, when I shoot less, I start to forget and the mis-focusing become bigger an issue
12-28-2014, 05:26 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
...But that's irrelevant...
No it is not! That is the problem with some of Pentax users. It's a big problem and people need to be aware of it.
Would love to try a K-3 (using a K-5 II) and see for myself if the issues are gone - or at least mitigated - but unfortunately it's not very easy to sell a Pentax...


Last edited by Flugelbinder; 12-28-2014 at 05:32 AM.
12-28-2014, 06:19 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
No it is not! That is the problem with some of Pentax users. It's a big problem and people need to be aware of it.
Bull... this statement is a slap in the face to this community as a whole. Perhaps you should consider going back to whatever you have used and stopping these nonsense type rants. Trust me you will feel a lot happier...... maybe

QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
Would love to try a K-3 (using a K-5 II) and see for myself if the issues are gone
What issues? For something to be a known issue is that most every camera has the same ones which is not the case. Are there some that may? Sure that is the bane of mass production. I have no issues with mine. Do I screw up using it occasionally? Yep you bet, when I haven't really taken the time to think things through in my pre set up.

QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote
but unfortunately it's not very easy to sell a Pentax...
Total bull puckey..

So I guess that last apology to the community wore off?

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 12-28-2014 at 06:31 AM.
12-28-2014, 06:31 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote

So I guess that last apology to the community wore off?
Not at all.
But no one can deny that it is a real problem, at least with the K-5s. I just said that it is difficult to sell a Pentax camera, as I'm trying to sell the K-5 II, to get a K-3, that's all. The more I shoot, the more I like the images - especially how accurate and natural the colors are reproduced - and I'm trying really hard to stay with Pentax, BUT, I need to know that when I'll go out to shoot for someone, as in being paid for, I will not have 'surprises' with missed focus - that are not user error...

---------- Post added 12-28-14 at 06:32 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Oldbayrunner Quote
What issues?
How about the dinner plate size focus point?

P.S. - Do you even realize how many threads there are regarding this 'issue'?

Last edited by Flugelbinder; 12-28-2014 at 06:39 AM.
12-28-2014, 07:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bleuwater Quote
Is anybody else frustrated with the autofocus on the K-5 or is it just me Over half my photos are blurry, and I lose some really great shots! Often I can't tell they are blurry from my viewfinder, it's when i upload them. I have better results using manual focus, but am trying to capture busy toddlers a lot of the time. Maybe it's just me and it will get better with experience, or perhaps it's just the nature of photography? Maybe I just need glasses. For now though it's bumming me out.
I think you should first and foremost test (and calibrate) your lenses using the in body fine adjustment.
12-28-2014, 07:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flugelbinder Quote

How about the dinner plate size focus point?
Then a representative example provided by Bleuwater (not cherry picked) would show the exact point of focus in the centre, Flugelbinder.

It might be a high contrast piece of background right behind and beside the subject's eye, for instance.

But if there is no such point and the entire image had camera shake ...

Last edited by clackers; 12-28-2014 at 07:33 AM.
12-28-2014, 07:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Then an example provided by Bleuwater would show the exact point of focus in the centre, Flugelbinder.

It might be a high contrast piece of background right behind and beside the subject's eye, for instance.

But if there is no such point and the entire image had camera shake ...
Agreed...

---------- Post added 12-28-14 at 07:51 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by alamo5000 Quote
I think you should first and foremost test (and calibrate) your lenses using the in body fine adjustment.
bleuwater, be aware that some bloggers state that for a front-focus one must dial a positive value! This is completely wrong, as I have found after many frustrated attempts. So, if you are going to give the micro-adjustments a try, a front-focus will need a negative value, and vice-versa.
Good luck.

Last edited by Flugelbinder; 12-28-2014 at 07:55 AM.
12-28-2014, 08:13 AM   #14
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I too have issues with the focussing system on my k5. It's not something I can say affects group shots or portraits too much, but certainly close focus is constantly hit and miss. (And yes, I have dialled in my lenses correctly)

Changing the af.s setting to release priority seemed to help a little bit in my case.

With the k5, I've basically adjusted my shooting style to the cameras short comings. If I'm using an aperture larger than f2.8, or am close focussing, I drop to manual focus (and usually end up shooting at f3.5 or smaller - at which point I don't have any problems).

I've tried a k3, and the difference is night and day. The k3 autofocus just works. The k5 has frustrating limitations. (Not tried a k5ii, but I imagine it's an improvement on the original k5). Aside from low light shooting, my old k-x did a better job - not because the focus is better - but because the autofocus points weren't obscuring the focus point in the viewfinder, so you could tell if it was off before taking the shot!

Live view autofocus doesn't really help (unless someone knows of a way for it to use anything other than the central point?). Certainly zooming in makes any problems clearer, but it doesn't solve the accuracy issues in my experience.

---------- Post added 12-28-14 at 03:18 PM ----------

I should also add that if you're shooting fast moving toddlers indoors with a slowish zoom, then I'd probably assume the issue is with a long exposure time (and motion blur of camera and subject), rather than being related to the issues I've experienced.
12-28-2014, 08:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by robthebloke Quote
...I've tried a k3, and the difference is night and day. The k3 autofocus just works...
...(Not tried a k5ii, but I imagine it's an improvement on the original k5)...
That's what I've been 'hearing' too. Wish I could have the choice...
I don't know about that, but if the K-5 II is an improvement, the K-5 must be a nightmare.
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